A celebrity chef at a posh Manhattan hotel tried to add one of his servers to his own personal menu, telling her she was “sexy” and that he was “surprised you’re still single,” a new court complaint charges.
Todd English, whose eponymous restaurant is adjacent to the Palm Court in the iconic Plaza Hotel, drunkenly came on to the server, setting the tone for a “toxic, objectifying and hostile” work environment, where sexual hijinks was served up as much as the miso glazed cod.
The server, Gabrielle Eubank, says she was harassed by several staffers including English himself.
Eubank said that on May 17 she was working a party when English, “who appeared to be intoxicated, began hugging Ms. Eubank and kissing her on the cheek repeatedly.”
“Mr. English then began flagrantly propositioning Ms. Eubank on the floor, saying she was “sexy” and that he’s “surprised you’re still single.” Mr. English then attempted to kiss Ms. Eubank on the lips, forcing her to turn away at the last moment,” papers read.
Eubank said the come-on was nearly as crude as the crass cook who told Eubank he had “a tiny burrito for you.”
Eubank’s charges were included in an amended complaint against the Plaza Hotel, which was already subject of a sexual harassment, assault and retaliation complaint filed by six current and former cocktail servers, bartenders and hostesses.
“This institutional culture of sexual harassment, which starts at the very top, is ignored and tolerated by human resources and hotel management—the very people charged with ensuring the wellbeing of hotel employees,” the plaintiffs said in a statement.
English, whose representatives did not respond to an email seeking comment, is not named as a defendant.